The business world is rapidly changing in the new, corona-induced conditions. Every sector of the economy is and will suffer certain consequences of this pandemic. Real estate is one of the most endangered fields.
However, this is only a temporary trend. Besides, the real estate market hasn’t stopped functioning completely. No matter if you’re on the buying or selling side, you need to adapt your current methods to the pandemic and special conditions related to it.
In the next few paragraphs, both real estate agents and property owners can learn a few tricks that will help them buy or sell a property.
1. Mind the mortgage rates
The general trend with interest rates is that they’re dropping as we speak. As reported by The Conversation, The Federal Reserves have lowered interest rates to incentivise the struggling economy. Other central banks around the world have followed suit. These measures will affect short-term loans and credits. As a result, smaller businesses and individuals might benefit from these decisions via lower rates for cash loans. However, mortgage rates are calculated over a longer period of time. Since the measures above are only temporary, for now, they shouldn’t affect the current mortgage rates. Given that even real estate experts can’t predict what will happen to real estate prices, the coronavirus pandemic shouldn’t be among key factors for people planning to take out a mortgage.
2. Use technology
Buying a home in these conditions requires certain changes in our everyday behaviour. Since people have certain movement restrictions in most countries in the world, now is the right time to use technology when buying a home.
If you have several options but you still haven’t narrowed down the list, it might be risky to inspect all these listings in person.
Instead of that, you can contact real estate agencies, realtors or buyers via social media or chat tools. They can send you additional photos, videos and legal documentation related to all these properties via email or on Facebook.
As an addition to all these options, realtors are utilising the power of virtual reality, as well. VR real estate tours are a safe and economical way of showing properties to potential buyers. This strategy might not be limited to the epidemic but it might stay with us for good, due to its practical nature.
Even when you’ve chosen the property, you still don’t have to leave your home to complete all the necessary actions. Your realtor can do all the necessary tasks online.
The use of technology isn’t restricted only to individuals and housing objects. For instance, business buyers can cut a few corners when buying a new office with the use of proptech, as well. Not only that these tech perks protect buyers from the coronavirus pandemic but they can save a lot of time, as well.
3. Think about the time
We’ve recommended the use of technology to speed up things as much as possible.
However, this might not be as smooth a process as we expect.
The house-buying process includes more parties than only the buyer, the seller, and the realtor. For instance, you might want an appraiser to check out the homes you’ve shortlisted. If you’re buying a house with land, you might require the services of a land surveyor.
Most of these people belong to the middle-aged or even older generation. As such, they may be considered more vulnerable in this pandemic. Not only that you might not be able to schedule their visits soon but perhaps none of them would be ready to go to the field and do what you need.
Moreover, some public administrations whose documents you might need are out of office. Even though those clerks can send scanned documents via email, if they’re not in the office, that may not be an option. For all these reasons, the legal and practical aspect of buying and selling homes has become fairly complicated due to the pandemic. Therefore, both buyers and sellers will need to wait for the current strict measures to loosen up a bit. Still, this doesn’t mean that all the interested parties should stop offering and seeking real estate properties. It’s only the legal matters that will have to be completed later.
4. Suspending the open-house approach
If you’re on the selling side of the coin, you need to introduce special measures to reduce the risk of exposing yourself and your buyers/clients to the epidemic.
The first thing to do is to suspend open homes. This refers more to real estate agents than to private sellers but the tip is applicable to both categories.
While you can visit the homes and apartments you’re in charge of, it’s better to keep others out of them. For instance, you might want to take additional photos and videos and send them over to potential buyers and that’s fine. Still, apply all the recommended protective measures, from wearing a mask and gloves to disinfecting the clothes you’re wearing while doing those activities.
Another idea is to keep creating a visiting schedule for available homes on the market. Once the measures are loosened, the people on the list should be given the advantage when visiting those homes.
5. De-clutter the home for sale
Regardless of whether the listing is residential or commercial, it’s important to de-clutter and make the listing presentable for market.
This is a good thing to do even in normal times. However, during the pandemic, people are more cautious than usual. When they see a home full of clutter or one that is not maintained properly, this could put your potential buyers off. As a result, they may give up on pursuing the property even if they like the place.
This would be the time to get enough mobile storage units and start removing all the clutter and making your home presentable for market.
If you hire any moving personnel to help you with those things, insist that they all wear protective equipment and take the necessary precautions. These actions will ensure that you present your property in the best light possible.
6. Connect with buyers via video calls
When we’re buying something or selling something, we like to see who the buyer or seller is, respectively.
During the pandemic, people are more suspicious and cautious.
This is why it would be wise to organize a video call between the potential buyer and seller. If there is a real estate agent mediating between them, this third-person should be added to the conversation, as well.
And if the buyer and the seller are communicating directly, it’s up to them when and how to arrange a video call.
During such calls, sellers or realtors can show prospective buyers around the home live, given them a virtual tour. This is something that potential buyers might be interested in. Such an option becomes even more practical if the buyer wants to see the yard or land in person. Connecting via a video call is a great way for all the interested parties to present and perceive relevant visual data. In turn, this can be crucial in making the final decision regarding the purchase.
The final word
The real estate market has survived global conflicts and wars. It has been through economic crises and massive unemployment. The coronavirus pandemic may not ruin it but it will certainly impact real estate over next few months or even a year.
What buyers and sellers can do is take all the precautionary health measures to protect themselves and adapt by employing new methods to buy and sell. Thanks to technological devices and communication tools, they can exchange photos and videos of properties in question without leaving their homes.
When the pandemic is over, it will be easier to adapt to a new normal if you’ve been using all the tips shared in this article during its duration.
Renee Wainwright is the gobox Mobile Storage Manager whose years of experience in the industry allow her to provide customised and tailored mobile storage solutions to suit residential, business and corporate customer’s storage and moving needs.